I'm looking around for a large LCD character display (metre-ish long, 10-15cm high), and on the cheap side (of course)

Any suggestions?

Actually I think I meant LED display, max $150ish

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    \$\begingroup\$ Can you give additional information, such as how many characters and lines you want to display in that area, and what the ballpark range is for "on the cheap side"? \$\endgroup\$ – Adam Davis Mar 20 '10 at 14:24
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Did you mean LED rather than LCD? \$\endgroup\$ – Clint Lawrence Mar 20 '10 at 20:45

Hmmm. I'll assume that you mean an LED display.

If you are wanting to display a full character set, you might want to consider using several 5x7 led matrix. See http://www.best-microcontroller-projects.com/led-dot-matrix-display.html for an introduction. MAX7221 driver chips can be used to instead of multiplexing the rows and columns. While the extra chip does add to the parts costs, it will mean bright letters and less pins being used.

Give the dimension of the display that you are after, you'd need to find a LED matrix which contains 10mm LEDs.

I don't see this as a cheap project by the time you assemble the LED matrix displays. Good luck as it sounds like fun.


An LCD TV might be the cheapest option, with an MCU generating VGA.

If it has to be LEDs, you could base it on this XMOS kit, using your own LED array.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Oh wow, if an LCD TV is the cheapest option, I should give up now! \$\endgroup\$ – aussiegeek Mar 20 '10 at 22:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ A large LED display will probably cost more than a TV! \$\endgroup\$ – Leon Heller Mar 21 '10 at 4:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ if large LED displays were cheaper than LCD TVs, they would be selling these instead :D \$\endgroup\$ – Stefan Paul Noack May 2 '12 at 10:58

How about hooking several LCDs with a 10-15cm dimension together to form a larger screen. Software can easily handle splitting the text to multiple such screens.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes this would become a rather easy solution when using I2C or SPI to talk to the LCDs, so that might be a feature the TS would want to look out for. \$\endgroup\$ – Erik Mar 21 '10 at 22:01

Could you work with these: http://www.littlebirdelectronics.com/products/7%252dSegment-Red-6.5%22-Display.html



  • \$\begingroup\$ Not character capable, unfortunately. \$\endgroup\$ – Adam Davis Mar 20 '10 at 14:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ the link is bad. \$\endgroup\$ – Ponkadoodle Jun 23 '10 at 2:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ Cheers updated link \$\endgroup\$ – littlebirdceo Jun 24 '10 at 6:22

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